The weather on Monday could generously have been described as horrible, horrible with a dash of miserable by the less generous and bloody ghastly by Rosie. However, it was with this dreary rainy backdrop, that we ventured forth to Kew Gardens to enjoy time with friends and explore Kew’s Peter Rabbit trail…Ollie has moved on from his duck obsession to a ‘Babbit’ one. At least this animal has less chance of making Ollie sound like a massively sweary toddler. As a massive additional bonus, a dragon trail (large dragon sculptures/statues dotted about the place) had just started running. Given my mild dragon obsession this just made the day even better.
For this latest adventure the Olephant was thoroughly togged up in waterproofs and his prized ‘Ellington Oots’. The reason the boots are so prized is that they allow Ollie to attempt to jump in puddles. I say attempt, rather than just jump, as he hasn’t quite got the idea that his feet need to leave the ground yet, so largely he gyrates his legs and arms and rocks back and forth on his feet. It’s pretty endearing to be honest and it is quite similar to my ‘jumping’ style, however as a toddler he pulls it off with a good deal more panache than I do.
Despite our vague preparations we forgot waterproof trousers for our intrepid explorer. This meant that as soon as we got inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory, which was just amazing, Ollie determinedly stepped knee deep into one of the ornamental ponds. In his defence he’d only been ushered away from committing a similarly aquatic maneuver ten or twenty times in the preceding 5 minute period, so how was he to know? I blame the parents.
I’m fairly sure Ollie thought getting soggy was totally worth it as he continued to merrily tear around the conservatory asking ‘that?’ at every opportunity. I really do love how curious he is, unfortunately my botanical knowledge doesn’t stand up much beyond ‘probs a flower’ or ‘maybe a tree/shrub’. This meant that when signs/labels ran out, I had to improvise. My best was undoubtedly ‘Red-Orangey-Droopy-but-a bit
-Spikey Flower’; at the very least he got the vague meaning if not the correct genus!
These adventures plus a hearty lunch, hastily bought from M&S, all seemed to utterly tire him out and he crashed out in that wonderfully ‘strings cut’ toddler fashion. Luckily we had broken from tradition and bought a push chair with us. This was a mild God send as Oliver after food is akin to a dwarf star, in that, this tiny thing all of a sudden becomes incredibly dense and carrying him becomes a Herculean labour.
With the Olephant obliviously ensconed in his warerproof push chair, we ventured out in the rain for a little and headed to ‘The Hive’ which is a super concept/installation. Basically it is a human sized representation of a bee hive with LED lights all over it. The LED lights are linked to one of Kew’s bee hives and they change colour or pulse based on the activity in the hive. We’ve decided to head back in the summer holidays so we can see it with the wild flower meadow fully grown around it. Also, as the Olephant dosed through this section it would be nice to let him experience it as well. I have doubts that he’ll understand it but he does love shouting Bee at the moment so I’m sure he’ll get something from it.
After a brief visit to the ‘Palm House’ which was pretty amazing we headed for home with a massively tired tiny person. We got round at best a quarter of the gardens so we fully intend to head back maybe for a weekend in slightly nicer weather.